What are the Different Veterinary Assistant Jobs?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2018
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A veterinary assistant is a vital part of many veterinary practices. Though not a licensed technician or animal doctor, vet assistants are typically animal lovers with a long history of caring for all kinds of creatures. There are many different kinds of veterinary assistant jobs, each one dependent on the type of practice and doctors involved in the workplace.

Veterinary assistant jobs often involve quite a lot of front office work. While it may seem more important to be in the back treating and caring for animals, nothing gets done without a competent office worker handling the schedule. Veterinary assistant jobs may involve answering phones, greeting customers, setting appointments and follow-ups, and accounting. These important jobs keep the office running on time and help smooth the process for worried pet owners and sick and injured p.

Billing and accounting may be major portions of some veterinary assistant jobs. In addition to dealing with charges to pet owners, a vet assistant may have to liaise with drug company and equipment suppliers to keep accounts current. Some understanding of the accounting process can be considerably useful to a veterinary assistant, as it will help make an office or animal hospital maintain financially responsible practices.


Some veterinary assistants do get considerable hands-on experience with animals. They may be called upon to administer medication to patients staying at the office or clinic, help hold nervous or panicked animals, or take in-patients for daily exercise and play. For patients undergoing a long recuperation or observation period, the veterinary assistant may help write charts, check vital signs, and feed or groom the animals.

Most veterinary assistant jobs require a certain amount of patience, understanding, and sympathy. People are often very attached to their animals, becoming deeply concerned if an animal is ill or injured. Comforting worried or distraught owners can be a major part of a veterinary assistant's job, particularly if an animal is too sick or hurt to recover and must be put to sleep. In these cases, it is not unusual for a pet owner to become angry or irrational, and the nearest target is frequently the veterinary assistant. Remaining patient and kind may be a struggle at some times, but is vitally important to being a good veterinary assistant.

Many veterinary assistant jobs depend on the working environment. At emergency animal hospitals, a large amount of critical cases and frantic pace may keep an assistant behind a desk more than he or she would prefer. For those planning to become veterinary technicians or veterinarians, it may be wise to look for a job that promises lots of hands-on training with animals.



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